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Green bean casserole

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(Read caption) Green bean casserole is made with cream of mushroom soup, green beans, and topped with French's Fried Onions.

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Every Thanksgiving I brace myself for the inevitable: green bean casserole.

Green bean casserole, invented by Campbell's Soup in 1955, is adored by literally millions of Americans. I am not in this group. Our family, lead by mother's disdain for opening a can of creamed mushroom soup and dumping it on vegetables, ate peas and pearl onions instead.

Usually I allow myself an air of historic superiority as I dismiss green bean casserole when it is offered – surely the original Thanksgiving did not include a dish from a can.

But this year I may soften my stance a bit. I've been reading an informative and insightful cookbook, "Giving Thanks: Thanksgiving Recipes and History, from Pilgrims to Pumpkin Pie" by Kathleen Curtin, Sandra L. Oliver, and Plimoth Plantation.

You are probably well aware that no one knows for certain what was exactly shared and consumed at that first day of thanksgiving in 1621 sometime between Sept. 21 and Nov. 9 among the native Wampanoag People of Cape Cod and the settling English. The only eye-witness account of that day, written by colonist Edward Wilson to a friend back home refers to "fowl" and "deer." And it wasn't even really Thanksgiving. It was an annual harvest party.


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